Thursday, December 18, 2014

Advent Devotions from Once Upon a Time, Part 1

The allure of fairy tales hasn't faded for me as I've grown older.  I still find myself getting lost in a good retelling of the classic stories that children have heard for generations.

Once Upon a Time is creative genius in my opinion.  Twisting and twining childhood favorites together into one complex story is literary gold and a viewer's feast.  Besides, anyone who can get me cheering for The Evil Queen, wanting Captain Hook to find true love, and despising all that is the boy Peter Pan deserves my applause.  Never, ever would I have thought it possible to feel that way!

Sunday night's episode kept me awake long past my bed time.  I couldn't stop thinking about two plot pieces, one of which is below.

On Sunday, Belle talked to Rumple about how she so desperately desired to be chosen.  She wanted to be enough for someone.  She wanted to be loved because she loved first.  Because I tend to internalize things much too deeply quite often, this hit me from two different perspectives.

I am so often like Belle.  I long for other people's love.  I want to be pursued by others.  I want to know that I am worth their time and their energy to woo me into a deeper relationship with them.  I probably exhaust Isaac in asking him to keep me on my toes and feeling loved.  Poor guy.  He gives it his best, trust me. But I'm this way with friendships too.  I want to feel invested in because I know I spend so much of my time investing in others.  I completely understood Belle's cry as she realized what she thought had been pursuit for years wasn't.

Then my thoughts drifted to Jesus.  My house is full of nativities right now.  I couldn't help but think of this tiny, helpless infant who came to be pursued and to pursue.  God chose to send Jesus to Earth to be in relationship with His people.  He didn't have to do that, but how grateful I am that He did! 

Jesus is utterly fascinating as a man.  He is so worthy of pursuit, of choosing.  His character, this man of fierce passion, deep humility, devastating love, and tender care, is mind-blowingly fascinating.  I wonder if Belle's emotions in that episode even remotely reflect God's brokenness when people decide not to choose Him and instead live for themselves. 

But, just as much as Jesus wants to be pursued by us, He also pursues us.  Luke 15 paints a beautiful image of just how far He's willing to go to show us His love (if the cross wasn't enough to convince us...).  And He didn't just try to win us over as a whole, but He seeks each of us individually and meets us right where we are to woo us one at a time into relationship with Him. Isaac might not be able to pursue me each moment of every day, but Jesus never stops.  That's not a reflection on my husband, but it's an exclamation of the grandeur of the Messiah.

Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart."  Mmmmm.  Those are beautiful words to me.  Jesus isn't playing hide-and-go-seek with us.  He's pursuing us and waiting for us to respond to Him.  It's why He came born as a poor baby and not a wealthy, earthly prince.  He wanted to be relate-able to all people because He is for all people.

Are you like me and long to feel pursued?  Look no further than Jesus.  He'll sweep you off your feet and leave you breathless from His love and the beauty of all He's created if you'll let Him. 

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